The Breast Milk Breathalyser

13 June 2010

no-alcoholJust when you think you've heard it all, something crops up which has you shaking your head and wondering if the world has gone utterly mad.

Mooching around today I came across a product called Milkscreen and it is, essentially, a breathalyser for breast milk!  It was designed by a breastfeeding mum who wanted to be able to drink at her sister's wedding, she was the Maid of Honour, so she gave up breastfeeding.

After the event, however, she thought there must have been a better way and came up with these strips that are sensitive to alcohol; apparently you just express a small amount of milk on to the strip, wait for two minutes and it will tell you the alcohol content.

I'm struggling not to laugh now because firstly, I have a rather amusing mental image going on in my head right now of the newly formed police department 'The Booby Bobbies' on the beat outside pubs at closing time, armed with Milkscreen kits and on the prowl for breastfeeding mothers drunk in charge of boobs!

And secondly, what on earth has happened to good old common sense and some forward planning?!  If you plan to drink enough to give your breast milk the alcohol content of a decent brandy then what's wrong with expressing beforehand and bunging some in the fridge and freezer?

You can buy these - if you really want to - they're £8.99 ish for just three strips - but common sense and a bit of forethought is FREEEEE!  And if you're REALLY that concerned then the only sure fire way to be sure there's no alcohol content in your breast milk is to stick to the soft drinks.

Not only that, if you're going to get that merry then should you really be drunk in charge of a baby anyway..?  I'm just asking.

Opinions on a virtual postcard please - useful or gimmick?


  • BB
    What an absolutely awful excuse for a parent. She wanted to drink so she gave up feeding her child? Not that I'll ever use these strips, but I'll be avoiding anything else her "company" introduces.
  • GateGipsy
    Ha ha BB that's what I thought too. It was a bit of a drastic step to take - there's lots of sparkly alcohol free wines available and I've even had alcohol free champagne that tasted like the leaded stuff! But oh dear, the mums that really do need to use these breathalysers probably won't be ...
  • bluemeat
    Yeah, the excuse is a bit bobbins really, but the product I can see as being vaguely useful if you've been given a night off from the baby and you had a few and you're not sure if your milk's running clean yet.
  • Anon
    It won't kill you to give up getting sloshed for a year or 2 whilst breastfeeding. What a sad reason to stop :(
  • Gib
    A couple of comments I see. Some people like a drink, especially on an occasion such as a wedding, and it won't kill a baby to have some expressed milk or formula a few times a year if Mum wants to drink. (I assume she did that, and didn't let the baby just starve.) I think this product sounds great. You'd only need to use it on one or two occasions to get a good idea of how long it takes alcohol to leave your body after a night out, so you know when you can start breastfeeding again, and you can plan for your next night out without having to use the strips at all.
  • Kat
    Ah, live and let live I say. So many people feel they are missing out when they can't drink. Thanks for linking to our post about it but I thought it would be worth pointing out we are not a stockist. Kat, Bambino Goodies.
  • Ted
    "Some people like a drink" Well then they should have thought of that before they decided to have a child. If they can't make that sacrifice for 2 years (and that's really stretching it, isn't it - more like 1 or less for most), how are they going to cope with the bigger issues. It's £9 this thing, that's not something you have hanging around on the off chance. Honestly, anyone would think you'd been asked to give up food - suck it up for 12 months, is it worth the risk? If you must, if you really, really can't live without alcohol, then express before you go to this wedding. But take a good hard look at yourself and why you can't enjoy one years events without booze when you've got a lovely little baby.
  • Gib
    "Suck it up for 12 months" ? Actually, it's 9 months of pregnancy, plus however many years you breastfeed. That's how long you're asking to give alcohol up. Which most people would do if they had to. But they don't have to. "Is it worth the risk?" What risk ? What are you really risking from using expressed milk or formula for a night ? What about the benefits of the mother being happy, and less stressed in her life after celebrating a happy event with her friends like she used to ? I think you could do with some stress relief in your life Ted.

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